Friday, November 27, 2015

Covetous Friday- Game Time

Once again we skipped the stores on Covetous Friday. We spent today playing games, relaxing, and eating leftovers.

Frank and I played Ticket to Ride twice and Alex joined us the second time. I really like this game, I played it for the first time while Wayne was here. Each player has tickets to try to complete as they collect different colored train cars. Players get points for how many train cars they place on the track and also for how many tickets they complete.

Our second Game was Monkeying Around. I had forgotten that we even had this game because it wasn't in the game closet. It is a balancing game with a spinner. The only problem is that the spinner is connected to the base and it sometimes shakes the whole tree.

S'Match was next. It was fun.

Looney Tunes kids version of Triominos is always fun, (not as fun as the original, but Sabrina isn't ready for that).

Kid's Jenga is always fun unless you have a headache.

We modified Qwirkle so Sabrina could enjoy it too. Qwirkle is a fun game of matching by either color or shape. The only problem is that it is way too easy to accidently shift the whole row of pieces when placing a piece.

It was our first time playing Parcheesi so we didn't play by most of the rules. I think that once we understand the rules we will really like this game.

We didn't play all of these games in one sitting, but rather, spread out throughout our day.


Thanksgiving- Food and Fellowship

Our good friends, the Meir's, invited us and any members of our church who didn't have plans for Thanksgiving to join them. We cooked part of the meal and they cooked part and what a feast we had!

We all had such a good time being with friends and family. I am very thankful to them for the hospitality they showed.

I brought the game HyperDash to keep the kids occupied, but they mostly played in Shelton and Tessa's rooms.

I hope your Thanksgiving was as fun as ours was!


Thanksgiving- Game Time

Yesterday I set up the Angry Birds game, (we have three of the games mixed together) and left it for the kids to find. I do that occasionally when I want to keep them occupied. Needless to say a few minutes later I heard the sound of pigs and buildings crashing down on the table.


Cuckoo Clock

Wayne gave me this absolutely beautiful cuckoo clock! A couple of days ago when it went off for the hour Sabrina announced, "It's 11 o'clock in German!"


Girls' Night

When the Boys go to Men's Class at another church, we Girls have Girls' Night In. We played games, played with the manger scene then..

Girls' Night In turned into Girls' Night Out. The power went out and the younger girl does not like the dark. Flashlights weren't enough for her so we went to Burger King, where she played for a while. Then we stopped at Big Lots to get a battery operated lantern. We got home, turned on the lantern and a few minutes later the power came back on. Sabrina carried the lantern around with her for a while in case the power went off again.


Mission Hills Park

The drop off location for Operation Christmas Child was near Mission Hills Park so we stopped there afterwards.

This was the first time Sabrina has completed the Monkey bars!


Operation Christmas Child

Filling boxes for Operation Christmas Child is a family tradition that started when Alex saw it advertised on a Veggie Tale movie years ago. He really wanted to do it so we have turned their joint birthday party into a fundraiser for Operation Christmas Child and for a toy drive ever since.

This year we filled up two boxes. (We have lots for the toy drive, but I will post on that when we drop the toys off.)


Monthly Church Potluck

I haven't posted about it because I don't usually take pictures, but we have a monthly potluck at church that is a whole lot of fun. This past Sunday we invited another small church to join us and we had so much fun!


Game night

We planned on having a full game night, but time got away from us, so we only played one game- All Around Town. It was fun.


Nerf Battles

Sometimes the battle wages fast and furious at our home. Several years ago we bought a bunch of Nerf foam weapons that are still in use today.



We took the kids to Petland the other day. When we turned around there were our good friends; Angie and Tessa. A kind worker let the kids hold a tortoise, a bearded dragon, and a kitten. (We showed them the correct way to hold a kitten immediately after the picture.) Free fun!


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Christmas Gifts

I feel like I'm ahead of the game. Not only am I done with Christmas shopping for the kids, including stocking stuffers, they are wrapped! I only have one more gift for Frank, some gift cards, and some homemade Christmas gifts to go.

I shop clearance sales throughout the year for the kids' Christmas and birthdays. We also have limited their gifts from us to three for Christmas because they get so much from others. Most of the gifts were on clearance, and I got a small free gift with the one (stocking stuffer); and they will be super excited to have them. Oh, yeah, I also got a four pack of Christmas wrapping paper during the after Christmas sales last year- we each get our own wrapping paper.


Union Pacific Railroad Trail

The kids and I used the Union Pacific Railroad Trail three different ways; I walked, Sabrina biked, and Alex used his scooter.


Late birthday gifts

Thank you, Nana. The kids put their allowance with the money you sent and got more Lego!



Yea! We got rid of everything in the picture, but the cat, the pictures, and Alex refused to give up his Star Wars blanket. Most went to a thrift store, one bag of books went to the Friends of the Library book sale, and another small box is books for certain kids we know.


Volunteer Simplicity

Volunteer Simplicity is a different way of life than most Americans are living. That is stating the obvious, isn't it? But what is it? And why do we do it?

Voluntary Simplicity is making decisions about how and what to invest your time and money on. It will look different for each one who practices it based on what they value. It is the opposite of the keeping up with the Jones' attitude or the bigger is a better way of life. It is slowing down and figuring out what are the most important things to you; then finding a way to make that your way of life.

This is a way of looking at life, not living it. It is certainly not one size fits all, but for us:

We most certainly could have credit card debt and we could have bought a bigger house because we qualified for quite a bit bigger loan than we took. We could drive to a car dealer and leave with a brand new car and a brand new debt today, so why don't we? Why do we live with no credit cards, not even an “emergency” one? Why did we purchase an older 1500 square foot house? Why older paid off vehicles?
Quite simply, if you have an emergency fund there is no need for a credit card. The mortgage on our older home is less than we were paying for rent and the smaller home is plenty big enough, yet small enough that we interact throughout our day. We have no debt on our older cars and being that they are paid off insurance is lower, which allows us to save for a replacement when needed.
Living this way allows me to be home with the kids and homeschool them. It allows us to spend copious amounts of time together instead of being scattered about. It allows us to save for the future. It allows us time and resources to give back to the community and to develop real friendships.

Marie-Anne and Frank

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Birthday Bike

Sabrina saved the birthday money she got from GrandPapa and Aunt Vivian and Uncle Robin, along with her allowance to buy a new bike. Frank took her to an unused portion of a nearby parking lot to teach her to ride. Needless to say, she is thrilled with her new bike.


Toys R Us free Lego Event

Alex and I walked to Toys R Us for a free Lego event. He got to make an X-wing fighter. Happy kid.


Geodysic Dome

Check out Sabrina and Alex's cool new clubhouse; a geodysic dome that their GrandPapa built for them. She loves playing in the back yard, (more than her brother) so I am sure this cool structure will get lots of use.


Monday, November 16, 2015

River Mountain Park

After watching the Bighorn Sheep we met Frank at River Mountain Park because it is closer to his work. We had a picnic lunch together before he had to go back to work.

Wayne and I let the kids play for a while.


Hemenway Park

We took Wayne and Audrey to see the Bighorn Sheep at Hemenway Park on their last day with us. Lake Mead is in the background.

Yes, we homeschool. The kids read the educational signs without being told.

They also had fun at the playground.


Joint B-Day Party

This year's joint b-day party was supposed to be a dress-up party, but only two other families came dressed up so the kids ditched the costumes. Alex was a clone trooper and Sabrina was a wildlife biologist.

The kids had a piƱata. Alex was disappointed that the kids before him smashed it so I threw in some more suckers and let him have a turn too.

They had a lot of fun and this party was a lot less stress than last year's because I kept it simple. Once again, the party was a fundraiser for Operation Christmas Child and for a toy drive. Thanks to those who gave.